Have you ever lived through an event or situation in your life that tested you to the ultimate and brought you to the limit of what you felt you can cope with?
If so, you are among the millions of people living with the scars from past traumatic experiences, says yoga therapist Dr. Arielle Schwartz, author of Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma Recovery, in this free download.
Living with the lingering effects of trauma is far more common than one might think. According to studies, nine out of ten US adults have experienced at least one traumatic event in the course of their lifetime. And most people have been exposed to multiple traumatic events.
Physical injury and trauma will leave us with visible scars. The effects of past trauma are not so visible, but make no mistake, they leave a lasting imprint, explains Dr. Schwartz.
Unresolved past trauma – or the issues in the tissues – as it is sometimes referred to can trap us in chronic emotional holdings, decrease our resilience and stress tolerance, and trap us in a limited self-image and curb our ability to express ourselves to the fullest, says Dr. Schwartz.
In recent years, a great deal of attention has focused on how yoga and other mind-body techniques can help us release the imprint of past events – without having to go through lengthy, expensive – and often painful – psychotherapy sessions forcing us to relieve painful events from the past.
A leading expert in body-centered psychotherapy, Dr. Schwartz has been working with yoga for trauma release since 2008.
Yoga holds tremendous potential for helping us resolve the lingering effects of past traumatic events, she explains.
The key lies in yoga’s ability to regulate vagus nerve function and restore balance to the autonomic nervous system.
The health of the autonomic nervous system ties into every other system in the body, Dr. Schwartz explains. This includes our endocrine system, our digestive system, our respiratory system, and our cardiovascular system.
Ongoing chronic stress and trauma often cause imbalances in the autonomic nervous system. When this happens, we can stay wound up in sympathetic fight-or-flight model of functioning for extended periods of time, unable to settle down and relax.
Over time, this will also affect the balance of all the other systems of the body, and it lays the foundation for chronic conditions. Not surprisingly, research shows that people who live with the effects of past trauma tend to have much higher rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and so on.
Dr. Schwartz also discusses the effects of the vagus nerve and how yoga can help restore greater balance to the nervous system by modulating nervous system functioning. She has worked extensively with Dr. Stephen Porges, founder of polyvagal therapy, and shares how this work can help us resolve past emotional patterns that are holding us back.
Working with the vagus nerve and yoga for trauma release, she notes, can not only help us restore balance to the nervous system but also develop a greater felt sense of resilience and self-love.
She shares a story about how working with healing trauma can help develop a greater connection with the true essence of who we are and the core purpose we are here to accomplish. Click above to download!
You might also be interested in Dr. Arielle Schwartz’s course: Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma Recovery: Applying the Principles of Polyvagal Theory for Self-Discovery, Embodied Healing, and Meaningful Change